Campaign to raise organ donation rates

Health Minister Jillian Skinner recently launched digital stories of transplant recipients in Arabic, Chinese and English to raise awareness on the importance of organ and tissue donation.
At the launch of digital stories of transplant recipients to raise awareness on the importance of organ and tissue donation. From left: Jesusa Helaratne, NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service Media Manager; NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner MP with Filipino-Australian heart transplant recipient Jaime Estrada and his wife.

At the launch of digital stories of transplant recipients to raise awareness on the importance of organ and tissue donation. From left: Jesusa Helaratne, NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service Media Manager; NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner MP with Filipino-Australian heart transplant recipient Jaime Estrada and his wife.

 

The launch of the digital stories is part of a renewed campaign by health authorities to drive up the rates of organ and tissue donation with a focus on the participation of the ethnic communities.

Advocates from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds have taken part in the production of new multilingual audio visual resources in a partnership between Transplant Australia, the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service and the NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service.

“People of any age – regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion – may one day need a life-changing or life-saving transplant,” said Minister Skinner.

“Around 1,500 people are on Australian organ transplant waiting lists at any one time. One donor can transform the lives of 10 people. Donation truly is the gift of life.”

Three recipients – Mary Chan, Mohamed Taleb Hawcher and Mohammad Faran – shared their personal stories during the launch at Parliament House.

Pinoy recipient expresses gratitude for ‘gift of life’

Filipino-Australian heart transplant recipient Jaime Estrada said he was very thankful for the organ donor who gave him a second chance in life.

He migrated to Australia in 1988. In 2003, he developed a cough while working in a foundry. He stared to feel tired after work and felt a shortness of breath and soon he was diagnosed with a heart problem. In 2004, he was told by his specialist that he should be a candidate for a heart transplant.

“I was first diagnosed with pericarditis and was told that I caught a virus which had attacked my heart. X-ray results showed that I had an enlargement of the heart and my heart muscles have been damaged,” Estrada said.

I have been a regular visitor of the hospital as my condition has gone from bad to worse. I had resign from my job in 2011. At the back of my mind, I was going to die if I could not get a heart within the next few months,” he said.

“My heart function was only about 20 per cent. I could not even walk for 20 metres without stopping and catching my breath.

He underwent a heart transplant in 2012.

“I am now recovering and still resting at home but I can be able to be back to work now where I am actively looking for work. I thank God for the things he has done to my family and me,” Mr. Estrada said.

The multilingual digital resources will be promoted in social media platforms and at community events.

“I urge everyone from all culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to start a conversation with their loved ones about organ and tissue donation,” Minister Skinner said.

The digital stories are available on the Transplant Australia website: http://www.transplant.org.au.

The video below also highlights NSW health authorities appeal to ethnic communities to support an organ donation campaign (starting at 3:00 min mark).


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